Archive for October, 2010

Apres le Deluge 11/3

OK, kiddies, this was a bye week as we strapped on the campaign gear and showered ourselves with hopes. Next week, we push our regular podcast a day so that we can talk about the Nov. 2nd results.
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Check us at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on 11/3 for our commentary, complaints, and we would hope, a bit of bragging. Here it live here. If you can’t or are just being petulant, go there later or return to Left Ahead! for an on-demand listen.

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MA Elections Picks Podcast

The Left Ahead! trio rarely endorses candidates. However, each of us often does so individually at our main blogs. Look to Ryan’s Take and Left in Lowell, and Mike already has listed his statewide picks for offices and ballot questions at Marry in Massachusetts.

We ran through some trends in the last two weeks of the campaigns, including the oddment of the GOP nominee for governor pushing internal polls claiming he was winning. There was also the appearance of the mystery man of state government, the non-debating Secretary Bill Galvin. Mike has a promise of a DVD of his sudden manifestation, as recorded by the Whitman Hanson Community Access TV (not available online). He’ll report then it arrives. Galvin was in Hanson at a forum when he knew his opponents were engaged in mutual political agon on stage in Newton.

We (Ryan and Mike today) detailed our individual picks for candidates and positions on the three statewide ballot questions.

icon for podpress  Players and Picks [55:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Crade-to-Grave Equality Podcast

“I’m a big believer that most people are reachable and most people are fair,” MassEquality‘s new executive director, Kara Suffredini, told us. That will certainly make her vision for the rights group work best.

suffredini1.jpgShe is the vision person, brought in as the board chair, Sara Whitman says, to “bring us to the next level of LGBT advocacy in Massachusetts.” That’s a remarkable goal in a state that in many ways leads the nation in LGBT advances. Suffredini herself announces her vision as including cradle-to-grave protections and rights from kids in schools through seniors.

Listen in as she tells us of the state and future of these efforts. She quickly notes that with established marriage equality and numerous protections on the books Mass Equality has a great opportunity. Rather than strive for these basics, it an consider whom to work with and what tactics are most effective.

While the organization focuses primarily on education and legislation, instead of litigation, “every movement matters to us,” she says. That is particularly important in meeting those education and legislation goals. Most MassEquality members and supporters “exist in other movements,” she says.

Suffredini spoke of some related national issues, such as Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, and regional ones, such as being a model and working with regional and other states in advancing rights broadly. She also homed in on work needed here, such as teen suicide prevention and making sure the nearly-passed transgender-rights bill makes it next time.

Among the current crunches is working to keep a high balance of LGBT-supportive legislators here. That’s a risk as our system requires a supermajority of 151 of 200 to squealch hostile ballot initiatives.  Also, a lot of General Court seats are in play this election. Her organization lists its endorsements on its website.

As well as the MassEquality link for those who want to give “their time and treasure,” as she puts it, Suffredini cites:

icon for podpress  Kara Suffredini [56:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Cradle-to-Grave Equality Podcast

karas.jpgKara Suffredini, MassEquality’s new executive director, joins us. She’ll detail her new, focused, aggressive program to solidify gains and expand LGBT rights and protections.

Much like in the eras of women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement,  befuddled Americans have been overheard asking, “What more do they want? We’ve already given them (insert hard-won right)!” This energetic activist has the answers.

We look forward to her views on trends and MassEquality’s role in the commonwealth, region and beyond.

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Two-winged Trolley Podcast

With homework for left and right wingers, William S. Lind gave us his past-is-future vision of public transit. His pessimism and hope on the topic are available also at The American Conservative and in full at the book he co-authored, Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

While a famous commentator on military and foreign affairs issues for that other wing, Lind is a serious pragmatist. As an urbanist and strong public-transit advocate, he calls conservatives and progressives alike to task. Listen in as he explains why many conservatives disdain public transit (even if they ride commuter rail) and what lefties need to do to talk the language and roll in the ideas taht are meaningful to the other side.

He gave us the history and concepts of when America could move by rail inside all towns of 5,000 or larger and intercity across America. He decries how the interstate highway system and its cars-over-trains subsidies killed that. Yet, he notes that unlike the multi-billion-dollar high-tech alternatives, trolley and related systems in the millions are within reach. Moreover, much of the necessary infrastructure is still in place, like rights of way.

Unfortunately, Lind suspects that as a nation, we are likely to do the usual — wait until it’s panic time to fix this. Fortunately, he said we can do the trick affordably within a decade.

His vision has work for everyone and sounds worth the effort. The sweetness is that the vision is worthy of both conservatives and progressives.

icon for podpress  Bill Lind [59:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Two-winged Trolley Podcast Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 5th, at 2 p.m. Eastern, we talk trolleys. Bill Lind comes on to describe why left-wingers and right-wingers alike need to join him on the electric trolley.

You can listen live then here. Afterward come back to Left Ahead! or return to the show URL to hear or download it on demand.

This sort of past-as-future thinking has become the life work of this urbanist, who has long been famous for his conservative military analysis. Starting 13 years ago, he and Paul Weyrich (now deceased) performed a series of eight major transit studies. Those are collected in their book Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

He’s not shy about telling conservatives to stop throwing money at highways. Nor is he afraid to tell liberals what they need to say and do to get support from the other side.

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